Honor Killing Murder Trial in Home Stretch as Lead Detective Hangs Tough On Stand

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Assistant public defender Jeffrey Kirchler tried to suggest at Faleh Almaleki's murder trial yesterday that the lead detective in the case invented the "honor killing" angle that turned this Maricopa County case into an international sensation.

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Faleh Almaleki: Will he take the witness stand on Monday?

​The 50-year-old Almaleki is charged with murder and several other felonies in the October 2009 hit-and-run death in Peoria of his daughter Noor and a friend of Noor's.

If you need to catch up with the facts of this tragic and brutal case, press here and read our detailed story published last year.

The state's final witness was Detective Chris Boughey, a beefy, crew-cutted gent who listened carefully to questions before answering. Boughey was one of the two detectives who traveled to Atlanta to interview Almaleki after the Glendale man was extradited from England last October.

 

 

 

Defense attorney Kirchler attempted to show jurors that it was the detective, not the Iraqi-born defendant, who first raised the notion that the motive for the attack by motor vehicle against Noor and Amal Khalaf was rooted in the violent ancient custom of killing allegedly wayward female family members who "shame" the family in some fashion.

"I was trying to figure out why he did what he did," Detective Boughey explained.

On redirect examination, prosecutor Laura Reckart asked Boughey if Faleh Almaleki ever had said during the two-hour interrogation that the fatal incident at a state government parking lot was an accident.

"Never," the detective replied.

Almaleki told the Peoria officers that if he had wanted to kill someone, he would have gotten a knife or a gun. Boughey noted that he responded by saying that maybe Almaleki's only available weapon at that moment had been his Jeep Cherokee.

Reckart asked Boughey if the defendant had expressed worry about his first-born, Noor, who at the time was lying in a coma at a Glendale hospital.

"Zero," the detective said.

Did he express any remorse?

"Zero."

Regrets?

"Never."

In response to another question, Boughey said he raised the "honor killing" idea after studying prior police reports involving Faleh Almaleki and his estranged 20-year-old daughter in which "honor" came up.

The detective confirmed a secretly tape-recorded jailhouse statement that Almaleki made to his wife Seham after his return to Arizona in early November 2009.

Almaleki said then, "An Iraqi without honor is worth nothing."

The defense is scheduled to start its case in Judge Roland Steinle's courtroom on Monday morning. Almaleki's attorneys have not said if they plan to have the defendant testify in his own behalf.

That usually proves to be a bad idea, as it affords experienced prosecutors like Reckart a rare opportunity to swing at a defendant's account as if he or she was a pinata were swinging from a tree branch.

The evidence of first-degree murder (of Noor Almaleki) and attempted murder (of Amal Khalaf) in this case seems strong. And even if the jury comes back with a guilty verdict on a lesser murder charge (say second-degree or even manslaughter), Faleh Almaleki is looking at spending most, if not all of the rest of his life locked up in prison.

 


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10 comments
The Honorable Jeep Cherokee
The Honorable Jeep Cherokee

How does this Jeff Kirchler guy come by the idea that the detective "invented" the honor killing angle ?Cops make up shit all the time and vomit it in court as the gospel. Too true.But you only have to read phone call transcripts between Almalecki and his wife, as printed in New Times to know that "Honor Killing" was in fact exactly what this is all about.In Saudi Arabia you get to kill gay guys... In Iraq you get to kill recalcitrent daughters and anuy other damned thing ya want to.

A Tall Blue Eyed Male
A Tall Blue Eyed Male

clean cut male yuppie clean shaven short haired yuppie male/father daughter killer. ladys watch out for this type of male. they use that clean cut short haired yuppie look to hide the evil that lurks inside their dark souls. types like this guy are women rapos,killers,beaters and child molesters cho-mos. dont believe me? look at police mugshots and see for yourself. clean cut guys are mean and violent. long haired bearded guys are happy and mellow. ladys you have been warned.

J Curwen
J Curwen

That's an oversimplified way of putting things. However, I think it's basically on the money. Not so sure about the last couple of sentences, there. This sure does look like an honor killing, though. IMO if that's true, my question (again) is why didn't they make this a capital case? While I'm not in favor of the death penalty (and maybe especially because of that) I can't fathom how the DAs, as hard core as they are in this state, would have passed on this one. This MF seems to have deliberately killed his own daughter. Premeditated, dead to rights. In this state, that's a capital offense. If he didn't merit it, neither does anyone on death row here.

Shiekster
Shiekster

Sounds like you and Charles Manson have been exchanging love notes. If you want to be so bold with your long hair, bearded types...CHO-MO much..?!?!

Shiekster
Shiekster

He was molesting his own daughter, and to cover up for his crime, considerring that he was living here stateside and "not" the bloody third world he came from and brought over here..He murdered his own daughter, to silence her, and his alibi or Modus Opporandi was that it was an "honor" killing or, to put it as the "Religion of Peace" would, Allah told him to or go to Hell...Which I hope is where he is right now...

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